My name is Josh "Xaryu" Lujan and it is my goal to make gaming into a healthier space, this is why.
I have been intrigued by pushing the limits of my mind and body for as long as I can remember. Whether it was leveling up in record time on my handheld game boy, or pushing myself for a new best mile time out on the track, I always felt compelled to strive for a new personal best. At a young age, my parents instilled in me that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to, so set my mind I did.
At 9 years old I became obsessed with my school’s ‘Milers-Club’ — a club that tracked the distance we ran during our lunch breaks and ranked us on a leaderboard. I was captivated. Each day, each mile, each step; a conscious choice to push myself further. At the beginning of the school year I envisioned my name at the top of the leaderboard, and I knew that with enough work, I could turn this vision into a reality. After pushing myself daily for an entire year, I ended up ranking #1. This laid the groundwork for a powerful realization: hard, consistent work will yield results.
At 12 years old, I began playing World of Warcraft, a game that changed my life forever. WoW fascinated me, consumed me, to a level I could not yet comprehend. WoW also had a leaderboard, this time, on a global scale. Now, a new challenge presented itself; with millions of players ranking against one another, could I be the best?
I set up my day in order to progress in WoW, i.e. I finished my homework during my lunch hour, ran home from school, and completed my chores as fast as possible in order to practice longer. My idea of a fun weekend consisted of my laptop and logging in to a world with infinite potential — I lived and breathed WoW. After many, many years of dedicated practice (and many, many failures) I became a top ranked player.
At 18 years old, I created a Twitch account and began livestreaming the process of playing World of Warcraft at a top level. Sharing what I learned to as many people around the world became my new passion. I streamed an average of 50 hours per week throughout college (with some weeks streaming as much as 60-70 hours). As climbing the leaderboards in WoW and livestreaming consumed my days, my life became more and more one-dimensional. Something was missing.
At 20 years old, during my sophomore year of college, I hit a breaking point. Although I was pushing my mind each day, my body was growing weaker. I looked at myself in the mirror: I looked frail at 100 lbs, I had little to no muscle mass, my immune system was weak, and my nutrition was poor — I was unhealthy. This had to change. I spent the next few years diving into the scientific literature behind building a strong and capable body. A new challenge stared me in the face, can I maximize the potential of my body while maintaining a top ranking in the game?
"It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable" -Socrates
It wasn’t long into my fitness journey that I realized the world of gaming and the world of fitness weren’t all that different; in both worlds I was addicted to the exact same thing — progression, getting better. After delving into the many myths of the fitness industry (I.e. fad diets, no days off, and useless supplements) I slowly discovered what wasn’t effective. After reaching both extremes in the gym and in the kitchen, I found a regimen that worked for me, delivered results, and a methodology I could adhere to.
At 25 years old, I thought my life was fairly balanced; gaming all through the night, waking up in the late afternoon to train, and repeating this (with no days off) for months, and months, and months on end. I was making progress in the gym, and the stream was doing great, but it wasn’t until meeting the girl of my dreams, that I realized the inherent imbalances of my lifestyle. I wasn’t sleeping on a normal schedule, socializing, prioritizing family time, taking time to step back and reflect. Within months of meeting Shannon, this all changed. I was sleeping at a normal time, waking up early, working on other aspects of the business together during the day, and sharing my gaming knowledge in the afternoons.
Together, we spent the next year creating three products that we truly believe will merge the worlds of gaming and health closer together: The Xaryu Fundamentals, The Xaryu Cookbook, and The Xaryu Bodyweight Program.
In a world where gaming is becoming an increasing part of our youth’s childhood, I want to shake up the mold and show that you can be healthy and a top level gamer.